“Average levels of anxiety today are equal to clinical levels of anxiety in the 1950s… Unless we do something now, our children are likely to be more stressed than ever by the time they reach adulthood.” -University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre
Psychologist, Professor Mark Williams, director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, has studied anxiety trends in children and young people. He believes that average levels of anxiety today are equivalent to clinical levels of anxiety in the 1950s. He is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, and co-founded Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with his colleagues Zindel Segal and John Teasdale. The MBCT program is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. MBCT is designed for people who suffer from recurring bouts of depression.
I also read this week that 1 in 5 women report ‘out of control’ stress levels and around 40% of mothers feel stressed by parenting duties.
Some of the common signs that you are suffering from stress are feeling tired and irritable, but a major symptom is rushing around bouncing from one task to the next, often without finishing any of them. Brain scans of people behaving this way have shown that the brain is on high emotional alert all the time. You believe that you are rushing around to get more done, but in fact are highly inefficient.
Mindfulness practice is about being truly aware of what you are doing at any given moment. Multitasking, so beloved of women, is actually a myth. You may be doing a lot of things at the same time, but it is unlikely you are doing any of them to your best ability.
Mindfulness practice, often in the form of meditation, can really help you to regain your focus and concentration. People often tell me they don’t have time to meditate, but if that is how you are feeling then that is when you need it most.
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